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Virginia Beach Vacation

Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4 – Part 5

Part 5

And that was it for Virginia Beach.  I got back in the car, found my way to 22nd Street, which turns into I-264, and I was off.  It was about 3:30 in the afternoon.  That would get me back home in plenty of time for the early shift I was to work the next day.  Plus it was beginning to cloud up, as rain was in the forecast for the evening.  Before hitting I-264, I made a pit stop at a Texaco station right at the point where 22nd Street turns into I-264.  At that point I grabbed a drink, mostly.  Something to suck on for the ride home.  Turns out that was most important, as it would be an interesting ride home.

I-264 was fairly uneventful.  I hugged the right lane the whole way, as my exit would be from the right lane.  Then at the designated location, I switched to I-64 west.  Turns out we had slow traffic from just before the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel to well beyond it.


I don't know how well you can tell from this photo, but this was actually taken from inside the tunnel part of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel westbound.  As you can see, it was slow going through the tunnel, as you can see brake lights ahead of me and also reflected off the ceiling.

I don’t know how well you can tell from this photo, but this was actually taken from inside the tunnel part of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel westbound.  As you can see, it was slow going through the tunnel, as you can see brake lights ahead of me and also reflected off the ceiling.


Beyond the tunnel, in Hampton and Newport News, it continued to be a slow drive, mainly due to road construction.  It actually got to a point where the westbound lanes split into two because of where the work was going on.  One set was “express”, where the road bypassed a bunch of exits.  A number of miles with no exits.  The other was “local”, which served all the regular exits.  Then after Newport News, the Interstate narrowed down into two lanes, meaning we were leaving the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, and we began to head to Williamsburg and beyond.  As the road narrowed down into two lanes, I started to feel the effects of too much fun on the human body, and as such started to feel fatigued.  Now in the car, “fatigued” translates into “droopy”.  Which means I was starting to lose my concentration and alertness at the wheel.  Not a good thing.

So I got to right around Williamsburg when I started looking for places to stop at to refresh.  I’m looking at exit signs looking for gas stations, restaurants, anything.  I end up finding a sign for what I consider the “ultimate pit stop” at Exit 234, which is marked “Lightfoot”.  Care to guess the identity of the place where I stopped?


It was one of these:

Yet another Wally World.  This one was store #3219 in Williamsburg.  Very ornate store on the outside.  I really liked the outside style.  Unlike the similarly-ornate Virginia Beach store on Nimmo Parkway, this store says "ALWAYS" on the front.  Inside, the store is basically the same as the Nimmo Parkway store, but without the self checkouts, and reversed (this store has grocery on the left).

Yet another Wally World.  This one was store #3219 in Williamsburg.  Very ornate store on the outside.  I really liked the outside style.  Unlike the similarly-ornate Virginia Beach store on Nimmo Parkway, this store says “ALWAYS” on the front.  Inside, the store is basically the same as the Nimmo Parkway store, but without the self checkouts, and reversed (this store has grocery on the left).


Wal-Mart receipt, Williamsburg

As you can see, there’s a certain theme to this visit.  I’m trying to perk up.  To help accomplish this end, I also took a walk around the entire store before getting my Pepsi, and my two double espressos.  All of this managed to get the desired result, though.  I was once again all perked up and ready to cover some serious ground.


And so after Wal-Mart, I returned to the Interstate, and headed west.  And it’s a good thing I pumped myself full of caffeine, too.  It started to rain.  Hard.  Enough to where I was like crawling down the highway.  I didn’t mind too much, with my having the attitude of at-least-it-was-nice-at-the-beach.  Plus I was still doing well on time.  At the westbound New Kent rest area, however, I made another pit stop, because I seriously needed a few moments to gather myself once again after a stressful, slow run in the rain.

After that, it was all-systems-go once again, and I hit the freeway.  After New Kent, I got back to Richmond, which made for more interesting driving.  As I said before, I like cities.  So I decided to forgo the loop around the city via I-295, and took I-64 straight through Richmond.  And I joined up with northbound I-95 for that little stretch of highway where I-64 and I-95 are multiplexed.

On the west end of Richmond, I got off at the Broad Street/Glenside Drive exit, and did a little city driving in Henrico County via US 250.  US 250 runs roughly parallel to I-64 from Staunton to Richmond, and I’d also driven this little stretch of roadway before during two Photo Essay Blitz trips.  And I didn’t lose any mileage doing this, meaning that I didn’t have to backtrack, because I was still making progress in my overall direction of travel.  So I got off at US 250, and headed west.  This takes you through the Glen Allen and Short Pump areas.  This is where a lot of Richmond’s “big box” stores live, as this is the outskirts of the city, where the sprawl happens.  And still raining the whole time I was in Richmond.  And lightning, too.  A real barrel of laughs.

I ended up making my third pit stop at Glen Allen, along this commercial strip.  Where did I make this pit stop?


I made that pit stop here:

The fourth and final Wally World of the trip, in Glen Allen.  I love the exterior here.  All brown brick, and green roofs.  Matched the shopping center that it was attached to for the most part.  Inside, it was quite obvious that this store was a converted store, as it had the drop ceiling and the non-Supercenter floor plan inside, with the obvious exception of the grocery area.  I bought a Pepsi, in case I would need it later.

The fourth and final Wally World of the trip, in Glen Allen.  I love the exterior here.  All brown brick, and green roofs.  Matched the shopping center that it was attached to for the most part.  Inside, it was quite obvious that this store was a converted store, as it had the drop ceiling and the non-Supercenter floor plan inside, with the obvious exception of the grocery area.  I bought a Pepsi, in case I would need it later.


And then it was back onto I-64.  The road once again narrowed to two lanes, and it was time for the least interesting part of the trip: Richmond to Charlottesville.  It really is dull, too.  The highway is mostly flat, and mostly straight.  Not a whole lot to entertain one’s self with.  The rain also let up, which made for an even less interesting trip through that stretch of roughly 70 miles.  At least with the rain, you have a little element of danger added to the mix that gets the mind excited.  No rain, no fun.

At Charlottesville, I made my final pit stop of the evening.  Yes, I made a lot of pit stops – four in all.  But you know what?  I needed to make these pit stops, because I needed to keep focused and alert, and it broke up the monotony quite well.  In Charlottesville, I had dinner at Taco Bell.  This is a Taco Bell that I visit from time to time when I go to Charlottesville.  So I ate dinner and read a bit more of the magazine I had bought.

Then what?  Back home!  With the rain still away, I took the final 30-some miles of I-64, and made it home safe and sound.  I finally got home around 10 PM, since I kind of dawdled on the way home, plus had some weather conditions that made driving slowly a necessity.

Still, I had a great vacation.  I just wished it was longer.  Whenever I return to the beach (and I don’t know when that will be), maybe I’ll stay for more than just one night.

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Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4 – Part 5

Part 5